Lights Out (2016) | Crooked Media
Sign up for Vote Save America 2024: Organize or Else, find your team, and get ready to win. Sign up for Vote Save America 2024: Organize or Else, find your team, and get ready to win.
April 23, 2024
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer
Lights Out (2016)

In This Episode

Halle and Alison flip the switches and have some thoughts on the ending of Lights Out (2016).






[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread. Keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: [coughing] Oh, no. Are you okay? 


Alison Leiby: Sorry. A piece of dust, like, went into my throat. The second that the song ended.


Halle Kiefer: And I’m so sorry. Could you stop eating dust while we record for two seconds. Maybe. 


Alison Leiby: I know, I’m just like. But I want more dust. 


Halle Kiefer: Listen, it’s filling low carb. I’m so sorry. This is Ruined. I’m Halle. 


Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison. Sorry for the coughing fit. 


Halle Kiefer: This is a podcast where we choke on dust for an hour and a half. 


Alison Leiby: No, honestly, there’s an audience for that. Somewhere. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean. 


Alison Leiby: But probably on OnlyFans. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, listen. Yeah. We we. Sorry. This is a podcast. Where we ruin a horror movie. Yeah. We’re so sorry. We’ve been doing this for a couple of years. The whole thing is held together with—


Alison Leiby: Yet somehow every time its the first. 


Halle Kiefer: No, but if we ever do an OnlyFans, I want to be only, like, deeply fucked up horror things like it would be like you inhaling dust or something. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] Oh my God. Yeah, that’s like what it would have to be. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: How are you? 


Halle Kiefer: I feel like I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m like, I have to totally revisit how what my life is. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Now that I have more free time, I reached a point where I’m like, I. This is not a human life. I don’t want to live like this. I think it’s just turning 40 where I’m like, I don’t know whether I thought or like my idea of success in the, entertainment industry was always such, like a nebulous thing. And now that I’m a lifer, I’m like, okay, I cannot burn myself out. But that is my inclination. And I’ve talked about my brain issues, obviously, so I feel like I’m just sort of in a positive, healthy way. I think revisiting all the parts of my life and sort of trying to figure out how to set up, you know, something sustainable and like, positive rather than every Friday. I’m so exhausted, I can just I just go to bed at 8 p.m., which is fine. I think there’s nothing wrong with that. But so I don’t know, with that, I, I, I’m in a contemplative mood. How are you doing, Alison? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. That’s fair. I’m good. Not a lot going on over here, though. I did see, a friend of mine who has a toddler posted a video of going to his preschool, and they brought out. It was like one of those days where, like, somebody comes with, like, four different animals and like, you just get to see the animals and I’m like. 


Halle Kiefer: Heaven. 


Alison Leiby: Can we do that now? 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. That’s cool.


Alison Leiby: We were talking about it. I was like for my birthday, I would definitely like find a place that’s reasonable to do it. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, yes. 


Alison Leiby: Like everybody like chip in 20 bucks or like I’ll pay for it. Like, who cares? I just like, have one of these experts show up with, like—


Halle Kiefer: I love that. 


Alison Leiby: A couple of different animals I just like. This is a hedgehog. Here’s a large iguana. This is like. And just like, see them and like—


Halle Kiefer: Please. I would absolutely love that I’m begging you to do that, I guess I could do it for my 40th, I suppose. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I kind of like I’m sad that this didn’t come up before my 40th, because I would have definitely done that, but I’ll just do it next year. But it was, it was Mike Racine, who posted the video, and I was like, talking to him. And I was like, oh my God, that was crazy. He was like, I was sitting on the floor with like 15 toddlers. And then this lady pulls out a wallaby and I just yelled what. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean. 


Alison Leiby: Like, but I’m like, I would have the same reaction. Like, if a while if somebody just like, pulled a wallaby out. 


Halle Kiefer: I would also be like. 


Alison Leiby: Best day of my life. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, if you’re a kid, a wallaby is the Rolling Stones like you were. You were seeing the Beatles like their first concert in America. And it’s a wallaby because you’re three years old. You’ve never seen anything like it. 


Alison Leiby: You’d lose your mind. 


Halle Kiefer: I think that’s beautiful. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. So I’m just, like, plotting how to get. It’s like I know that zoos exist or whatever, but, like, not the same as, like, somebody’s, like, holding a hedgehog and, like, telling you about what it eats you know, and then you get to maybe pet it. 


Halle Kiefer: Do you remember. Patti Harrison. Hilarious. 


Alison Leiby: Hilarious. 


Halle Kiefer: Comedian, actress who, I don’t know if she if she’s in L.A., I don’t she’s doing stand up. But Alison and I both know her from stand up in New York. Yeah, and when remember when Facebook thought it was going to do TV. And a friend of ours, Sachi, Ezura, worked on a Facebook show, and it would have. 


Alison Leiby: Oh yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, a different sort of web series. And Patti Harrison had an animal show where they had an animal guy, and it’s just it’s one of those still one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my fucking life. 


Alison Leiby: It’s so good. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s a guy who, like, obviously like, lives in Staten Island. I mean, his name, I couldn’t tell he was like Jungle Steve or like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah, always. 


Halle Kiefer: Like Amazon Terry. Like it was some the name—


Alison Leiby: Jungle Steve or Terry. Jungle Steve or Terry. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: And she, she, like, he just has, like, a parrot. And then it’s just her riffing to the point where this guy is so annoyed with her. 


Alison Leiby: That sounds so funny. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s so funny. Please. Yeah, you can still find it. Oh, Seriously.TV, that’s what it was. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. Oh, Serious. Yeah. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. RIP when Facebook, thought it was going to be a streaming service, but yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah well. 


One of them is just called Patty Reviews an Otter. It’s so funny. 


Alison Leiby: So funny. 


Halle Kiefer: Just like both her being incredibly naturally funny and this animal guy just having absolutely. No. Somebody uploaded it to Nature Nick I think it’s nature. Nick. Yes. Nature Nick.


Alison Leiby: Oh that sounds familiar. 


Halle Kiefer: And it’s. Please watch this as soon as you’re done listening. It’s so funny. You will not regret it. And she is. And the editing is hilarious. 


Yeah she’s just a—


So many talented people. That you know—


Alison Leiby: Also, just like the shiniest hair in the biz. 


Halle Kiefer: Incredible hair. Phenomenal hair. It reminds me of my brother. And my brother graduated, from OSCE. Oh, my God, I don’t know what happened there, but yeah, my brother graduated from OSU, and when he graduated, it was, Jack Hanna, who was famously an alumna. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And, worked at the Columbus Zoo for a long time, the former director of Columbus Zoo. And, he talks about he’s. He’s done multiple like, he comes and talks like, you know. Yeah, that I think. But he’s talking about I believe he has a dyslexia and sort of like how he found his way to animals. And, you know, he grew up on a farm and he became a veterinarian, but like, had this experience with, you know, with education that is really difficult. But then like found like sort of zoology and like his passion, Alison, he talks for 15 minutes and he said, now it’s time to bring out the animals. Alison in the middle of this graduation he just brings out like a snow leopard or whatever. Like he just brings out. 


Alison Leiby: That’s like literally the only good graduation. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, it was like we were toddlers again. It was so great and also was so like he didn’t allude to the fact the animals are coming out, but you just saying you would go on like. 


Alison Leiby: You would hope, but. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And then he’s just like, anyways, enough about me. Here are the animals. Everyone’s like, yes, yes. And to know that, like he built a career on knowing that all of us from a three year old to a 300 year old, that’s what they want to see. They want you to bring out the wallaby. And he was right. It was really great to see someone in their exactly be doing exactly what they should be doing and found their place in the world, and that was a really lovely graduation message. 


Alison Leiby: I love that. Wow. Wow. I hope we all get to see more. My friend’s husband, when he was growing up, his dad was the reptile guy that brought all the reptiles to the elementary schools. And I was like, oh, my God, he must have been, like, the coolest guy. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s adorable. 


Alison Leiby: And he still does it now. So like, their their son gets to like, meet snakes all the time. And I’m like, that’s wild. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: The cycle of life. That’s really beautiful. 


Alison Leiby: Cycle of life. Yeah. 




Halle Kiefer: So, we are of course still in deep, knee deep in Kevin Bacon month six degrees of Kevin Bacon. So we are going to, pull up the Oracle of Bacon. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So this connection is, James Wan, who, of course, we talked about director, director of Malignant. Horror horror icon. And James Wan apparently directed a, 2007 movie called, Death Sentence. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And let me just tell you, Kevin Bacon was in a lot of movies, that I have literally never heard of.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. That feels like I should have heard of it, too. Like.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Director James Wan, starring Garrett Hedlund and Kevin Bacon. Kevin Bacon stars as the man who stops. Is on his way home from a hockey game with his son Brendan stops for gasoline. He sees a quote unquote “street thug,” kill his son while robbing the station, believing the justice system will fail him. Kevin Bacon goes after the killer himself. So they have a war between him and the killer’s older brother, played by Garrett Hedlund. Never hurt, never have. As one atom of that entered my mind until I found out about it. Out through this machine. So thank you, Oracle of Bacon for giving me this. 


Alison Leiby: So it’s James Wan, directed a movie with Kevin Bacon and directed the movie we’re doing tonight. 


Halle Kiefer: No, I’m sorry, he’s actually the producer of the movie today, which I decided that that counts, because. 


Alison Leiby: That counts. Yeah. If you look, if you’re above the line payroll it counts. 


Halle Kiefer: If it’s above the line, baby, it’s above board. And also, this is made up and it doesn’t matter, so. 


Alison Leiby: It doesn’t matter. We’re just picking movies. 


Halle Kiefer: But yes, Iggy is one of the producers. I also probably could have gotten to Kevin Bacon through, what the. I would say like the named actress that I know is Maria Bello? And she’s in a million things. 


Alison Leiby: A million things. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So I got to imagine. Oh, my God, she’s in Coyote Ugly. That’s right. 


Alison Leiby: Yes she was in Coyote Ugly. 


Halle Kiefer: So actually, maybe I’ll just put her in the Oracle, because—


Alison Leiby: I mean, I’m curious. I bet you could get there because, like, Coyote Ugly, like, had a lot of stars, but you also had, like, like John Goodman is in Coyote Ugly. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Okay, so Maria Bello was in a movie called Grown Ups with an actor named Dennis Dugan and then Dennis Dugan was in the movie, She’s Having a Baby with Kevin Bacon. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, that movie, excellent use of, that Kate Bush song. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, I see, I don’t know what. She’s Having a Baby. 


Alison Leiby: Oh it’s, I mean, I it’s good in that I saw I saw it in the 90s and. 


Halle Kiefer: Cute. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. But they used this woman’s work and—


Halle Kiefer: Oh, hell yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I’ve never mad when that song is getting used. 


Halle Kiefer: I remember one time Ice-T posted a video, of. Sorry, Ice-T posted a video of his wife Coco, just her butt out in a bikini, floating in a flute of, pool floatie with that song over it. And that’s exactly correct. That is what I think their relationship is. That’s how I want. 


Alison Leiby: That’s all of it. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s how I feel about a woman. You know, I feel like this is. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: I just saw this, my wife in the pool, and I had to make this piece of art and share it with you and I. That’s why I was associate that song with.


Alison Leiby: Yes. That’s so funny. 


Halle Kiefer: So, let us begin. This movie is actually directed by. 


Alison Leiby: We haven’t said the name of the movie. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m sorry. The movie is called Lights Out. It is from 2016, ever heard of it. And it’s actually directed by a, a wonderful director named David F. Sandberg. And this is his directorial debut. And I knew about David F. Sandberg because he sort of famously came, arose when there was still the promise. And I also think was the promise of, comedy in a lot of ways. And it’s still there, but not the way that I think it was. In like 2013, he made an excellent horror short and put it on YouTube, and that sort of allowed him to make this movie like it’s a short, like the two minute version of what this movie is, right? It’s so good. It’s so scary. Please watch it again after listening. His name on YouTube is Pony Smasher, and the name of the video is also Lights Out. It’s from the Who’s There film challenge. It is so well done. To do something this accomplished, with like effects. He’s a practical effect, person like. And also his wife stars in all of his shorts. And his wife also makes a cameo in the movie. Her name is Lotta Losten. And I think he also, if you follow him on, YouTube. And if you like horror, you should follow him because he has he talks about how he filmed stuff. So during the pandemic, he uploaded a bunch of different stuff they obviously just shot in their house or like, starts his wife. She’s always a woman alone in the house. It’s late. And again, a scenario we’ve seen a million times. But to make it seem fresh really is, incredible. So he sort of explains how he shoots certain things. He has a video called Communicating Your Vision as a director. I think if you’re someone interested in directing horror, like, he’s just someone who is both really good at a job and also very generous, and how he explains how he did it for other younger, burgeoning, horror people. So, yeah, I mean, he also explains, like specific, software he uses that I don’t know anything about, but like, I, you know, just something about that I really appreciate and sort of how he came up. That being said, I do have a, we’ll discuss this movie because I by the end it I’m like, all right, well, I, I would have made a decision, a different decision with the ending, but that’s neither here nor there. 


Alison Leiby: Interesting. 


Halle Kiefer: We also like to have Alison watch the trailer, to, you know, let her, get a taste of what she’s about to see. Alison, what did you think of the Lights Out trailer? 


Alison Leiby: This trailer, like, fucked me up, and it’s, like, broad daylight, like, almost morning, you know, it’s, like, early in the day here. It’s just, like, vibes are good. I was watching garbage TV. I watched this trailer. Like I am upset. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: The trailer opens. I have no idea where in the movie this is but, like, it’s just like, a woman who I think is on a custodial staff somewhere, and she, like, the lights are on in a room, and then she turns them off and sees, like, the outline of this woman in a doorway. And then she just keeps turning the light back on, and she’s not there and off, and she’s there and it’s just totally silent, and she’s like, it’s almost scary because I know. Then there’s like other scenes where like the the creature person woman we’re seeing is like crouched and weird, but like, it’s actually scarier when she’s just appears to be like the shadow of a regular person standing up. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, I don’t like it. It’s so scary. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, it’s really well done. The opening sequence is really sets you up for the rest of the movie. We also always. Oh my God, we also like to take a baseline. Scary. Alison, how scary do you find the concept of somebody standing in the doorway in the dark watching you? 


Alison Leiby: I don’t. Well, now, especially that I’ve, like, seen this version of it. I don’t care for it. 


Halle Kiefer: I feel like it’s got to be one of the most terrifying images, because it what it implies about the person. You’re not. They’re not there. They’re not turning on the light they don’t even know about, a light switch. 


Alison Leiby: They’re not like, hey, what’s up? Like just standing still silently in a darkened doorway. I don’t I don’t like that. I never want to see that. I hope I never do. 


Halle Kiefer: And in reality, obviously, you could assume there’s a supernatural element to this film, but if you were to see that in reality, well, then that person’s trying to scare you and sort of in the strangers way, that seems worse. Worse than a ghost. A ghost might just be confused about what’s going on. A person. I don’t like to see it. And then finally, before we get started, Alison, would you like to guess the twist? 


[voice over]: Guess the twist. 


Alison Leiby: I’m going to guess that the figure is the ghost or demon reincarnation of a little girl who, Maria Bello. Like, it was like, I’m going to guess it’s Maria Bello’s fault that, like, whatever happened to this girl happened to her. And I think then. Maria is going. It’s going to be like a bad ending where you’re like, oh, like she’s going to like, kill her once and for all or something like, it’s not like redemption. It’s it’s doubling down on and not wanting something to like, bother you anymore.


Halle Kiefer: Great. All right. Fabulous. Let us begin ruining, 2016’s Lights Out. We open on a glowing street light outside a textiles warehouse. It’s night, and we see the manager, a man named Paul, is closing up shop, but he gets a call from his son Martin, who I’m going to say is about ten years old. And he says, when are you going to be home? Paul says it’ll be about an hour. I’m just wrapping up. Where’s your mom? And Martin says, she’s here. She’s, talking to herself again. Mark says, I know. I understand your concern. Me too. But I’m working on getting her better. I’ll be home with you real soon and I’ll. You know, we’ll talk about this. Don’t worry. Meanwhile, we see the actual warehouse, which is gigantic, like 12 foot tall washer dryer mannequins, reams of textile, diaphanous plastics. Just everywhere you look, there are more shadows and textures and terrifying things that look like a human eye and a human body. So a perfect place for her—


Alison Leiby: Need to see it. Great setting, but, like, I don’t want to be there. 


Halle Kiefer: Paul? He hangs up his phone. He opens up a, file box with sort of old damaged, papers inside and on the label. It says Mulberry Hill, his coworker Esther again. Lotta Losten the wife of the director. She stops in and says, do you want anyone to? Should I put anyone in overtime? And he goes, no, sorry. I’m just closing up. You could you could go. Esther goes to shut off the lights in the warehouse, which is both impossibly dark, and then also had these brilliant sort of spotlight like, pools of light. So as she walks through, she sort of passes in and out of darkness into light. They’re the only people there. Everyone else is gone. This is like, I was like 9 p.m. or something, right? She walks into, as you’ll see in the trailer, if you want to get a little a little taste of this, she walks in a room with like, racks of clothing, a table, I presume that’s where things are cut. Stands the doorway and we see on the other side of the room is another doorway. It is dark. It is empty. When Esther shuts off the light, Alison, suddenly there is the figure of a woman standing in the doorway facing her. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: A woman’s figure. One of the scariest figures of all. Not the number one, but to be reckoned. It is interesting where it’s like it is gendered. It is. 


Alison Leiby: Yes it is. 


Halle Kiefer: A gendered figure, which does it not that it, like is scarier, but just sort of funny, like, oh, it’s immediately a woman. Oh, well, she’s doing something that a lot of ladies do. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: She’s up there not acting like how I in my mind, a woman should be acting. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, not at all. 


Halle Kiefer: And in that way is I’m being that I should be more feminist, you know what I mean? Like what? We could do whatever she want. And this woman is going to be doing whatever she wants for the rest of the film.


Alison Leiby: It seems that way. 


Halle Kiefer: Esther flips a light back on, no figure, flips it off again. The figure is standing there, she does it a couple more times, flips it on, flip it off, and every time it’s off we see the outline, the silhouette of the woman in the doorway. Alison. She turns it on, and when she turns the light back off again, the woman is now standing mere feet in front of her. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Suddenly. And she. There’s an excellent effect, this movie where her eyes are glimmering in the dark, so there’s like a wet light of her eyes staring at her out of a dead dark screen. It’s so good. It’s really well done. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t like it. 


Halle Kiefer: And I think there must be like some lizard part like that, that this director’s really good at playing it where it’s like your brain is scanning what’s going on. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And then it sees an eye in the darkness, like there’s probably like some, like, predator. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, you know, like, okay, so it’s dark and now I see there is something sentient coming towards me. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So I jumped. I saw this in the theater, too. Like this whole opening sequence terrified me. Esther, of course. Books it. Meanwhile, Paul’s still talking on the phone, and he’s talking to his stepdaughter, Rebecca, and he says, you know, I just want to talk about this. We have to stop her from locking herself in the closet again. We have to do something. Okay? We don’t have to call it an intervention. We’ll say we just want you to meet up and talk to her. You know, obviously, planning how to talk to his wife who’s clearly going through something. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But he’s still on the phone. He’s really distracted. So when Esther goes back and tries to say, like, I think I saw something, I don’t know if it’s a person, but it might have been a person, but I couldn’t figure out. It was like, she’s panicking, but he’s on the phone. So he’s like, just go, just leave. 


Alison Leiby: And it’s like—


Halle Kiefer: No, he’s like not listening. 


Alison Leiby: You need this info. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. Also, if there’s a person there you’re like, lock a person in overnight, like, yeah, you have to deal with this. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But but she’s like I, you don’t have to tell me twice. But she does. Esther does warn Paul, please be careful when you leave. But again, he’s on the phone, otherwise engaged. When he hangs up, she’s left and he then walks through the warehouse space, past the industrial washer dryers, past these mannequins, and hear something clatter, of course. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And he. He walks to the end of the warehouse and he turns around. And when he does, he sees the figure of a woman now crouching in the middle of the aisle. 


Alison Leiby: Crouching. Well, top ten horror position. 


Halle Kiefer: Because it implies that you’re about to make some sort of propulsive movement either forward or up. And that’s no good. 


Alison Leiby: No, no. Very froggy.


Halle Kiefer: Crouching because you’re not she’s not pick it up sort of change. She didn’t drop her purse, you know— [both speaking]


Alison Leiby: Contact down there. She’s preparing for something. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Yes. And he goes, Esther. It’s like, no, no, it’s not Esther, dude. It’s some sort of skeletal nude demon who who has, like, a bob or whatever. 


Alison Leiby: Like, kind of has, like a hairstyle. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. You just saw Esther. She had her clothes on and, like, flesh on her limbs. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So. It’s not her. Unfortunately, Alison, even worse for this particular place is the lights are on a motion sensor. So because Paul freezes, the lights go out in the warehouse and he has to frantically wave them back on. And of course, when he turns them back on and off again, the woman is closer than before. He panics and he’s no dummy, so he’s runs back towards the office. 


Alison Leiby: Okay? 


Halle Kiefer: He trips and falls and he’s thinking, oh my God, how did I trip it? He looks down. He clearly he has been grabbed because he’s not simply fallen and his keys falling out of his hand, but his pant leg is ripped open and the flesh of his leg is torn open. 


Alison Leiby: Grabbed by what?


Halle Kiefer: And he looks behind him. And in the darkness in between the spotlights, we see the woman standing up. 


Alison Leiby: Great. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, Alison. He runs into his office, which, again, unfortunately, this point  an office door is not going to cut it, unfortunately. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I don’t feel like this lady got stopped by a door. 


Halle Kiefer: No, he’s able to get the door closed. He grabs a bat that he has for protection. He turns, the office door opens, and Paul focuses on the darkness beyond the door, to the point where he doesn’t notice that behind him, the woman has appeared and then basically hauls him into the air like jerks him up in the air like a marionette. And when the lights come back on in the warehouse, we see Paul’s broken, bloody, sort of marionette collapsed body in one of the pools of light. We join Rebecca, who is Paul’s older stepdaughter from his wife’s first marriage, and Martin, his son’s stepsister. So he is now married to Rebecca’s mother. And Rebecca is an adult, right? 


Alison Leiby: Okay okay okay.


Halle Kiefer: And she’s in bed with her boyfriend Bret. And Bret is clearly, like, thirsty for the boyfriend title. 


Alison Leiby: A man who wants to commit. Talk about a fantasy. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. But I do think it’s like this is a great example of, like, he wants to commit specifically because she so clearly doesn’t. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So I think he has sort of been put back on his heels. I think maybe he would’ve wanted to commit, but it’s like her rejection makes him sort of anxious as we’ve all been there. And he’s like, what are the chances we’ll go again. You know? And he’s like, oh no, we’re not having sex again. I want to take a shower. And we see in the mirror after shower, Rebecca’s looking and she sees she has, like self-harm scars on her arms, presumably from her teenage years. You know, in the past, which we’ll find out about, she comes in and Bret’s sort of, like, laying around wanting to hang out, and he’s like, are you sure I can’t stay over just one night? It’s been eight months. If I was staying over for eight months and I couldn’t stay the night. That would be it for me. I couldn’t. Yeah, I would need more, you know. He says, I just seems like something a boyfriend would do. And Rebecca says, who said anything about a boyfriend? But then Bret’s face looks sad and she’s like, oh, I mean, you’re the only one I’m dating. It’s like, okay, obviously you have commitment issues. 


Alison Leiby: Yes clearly. 


Halle Kiefer: Because of what we will find out. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I’m sure. 


Halle Kiefer: Understandable. Yeah. And he’s like, well, could I leave like a pair of jeans here? Like, what if I left one sock here. And he, she’s like, no, like, let me just get out of here. I need to get ready. And so he while she’s getting dressed, he takes off one of his socks and hides it to like, as a joke. And when he goes outside, she calls him through the window and sort of this romantic moment. She’s like, hey. And of course he’s thinking like, oh, she’s gonna invite you back, instead she throws his sock out the window to him, get this sock out of my apartment. 


Alison Leiby: Not leaving anything here. Sir. 


Halle Kiefer: Over at Martin’s place, who again is Paul’s son and a ten year old boy. He hears his mother talking. And this is where we meet his mother, Sophie, played by the wonderful Maria Bello. And she’s in her room talking pretty much nonstop, very quietly, but talking to someone who is not there. And poor little Martin has, like, little car pajamas on. And he goes to see, like, hey, how’s it going her mom? And he hears her say, I’m sorry. I just don’t know what to do. She turns and she sees her son, and she tries to play normal. Of course, of course. And she says to Martin, what’s up? Which I it remind me of the was up ads. It’s like, well, your ten year old son’s concerned about what seems to be going on. You’re just talking to no one. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she says, Martin, go back to sleep. But before he can, he hears a creaking sound from inside Sophie’s pitch dark closet. But that’s enough for him. He’s like, okay, I’ll go back to my room. And when he turns to go, he looks back and he sees around his mother’s door frame, a long fingered hand. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And sort of the side of a woman’s head in shadow. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Emerge from behind the doorframe. Yeah. He runs back to his room. He shuts and locks his door and of course he hears someone trying his doorknob and the doorknob rattles until there’s a huge thud of someone’s slamming their body against it. But then leaving it be. The next day at school. Martin has fallen asleep in class. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, because I bet he doesn’t sleep a lot at home. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. So obviously he’s not doing well, but the school nurse can’t get a hold of Sophie. She says there’s someone else we can call. So they call Rebecca, and Bret drives her over to pick up Martin, and Bret says, no, it’s obviously fine. I’m happy to help. I just didn’t know you had a brother. Which again, eight months in, it would be weird. Especially a ten year old brother. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That you might have to help with, you know. 


Alison Leiby: That feels like it would have come up. It’d be hard not for it to come up. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. To me, it’d be like a first date thing. I think it was. 


Alison Leiby: My family’s deal is yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, but obviously she’s not wanting to be upfront about our family because of what we’ll find out about them. And so they have to meet with a, representative from Child Protective Services. Her name is Emma, and she’s been assigned to Martin’s case and has been working on it since Paul died, and the implication is it’s been really recent. She doesn’t say exactly, but I’m gonna say it’s been a month. Like it’s been a month since Paul died. So the fact that Sophie, their mom, is sort of starting to have symptoms, like maybe she had in the past doesn’t seem unusual. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Because again, Rebecca is, you know, older and has been through this. So but it’s very scary to Martin to like, he could tell something’s going on. And now Paul, the person he can speak to about it, has died. So. Yeah. Rebecca, sorry. You’re you’re up next. You know, you got to step in here and help him. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Emma says, yeah, I’m so sorry about your father dying. And she says he was my stepfather. Paul, Paul’s my stepfather. My actual father left when I was ten. So. No. And so. So. Emma, finally asks so how’s Martin’s mom doing? Like, how’s she doing? And Rebecca says, well, if you’re asking if she’s taking her depressants, she is. But, you know, obviously it’s been hard since Paul died. And Emma says, do you know if Martin’s been sleeping at home because he this is third time he’s fallen asleep this week, like he clearly is exhausted. We just kind of want to check in, like, maybe something’s going on. The three of them go to the nurse’s office where Martin is waiting, and Martin turns to his sister and goes, is this why you left home? And Rebecca’s like no it’s more complicated, but also clearly, yes, you know. And Martin says, could I stay at your house? Cause I really need to go to sleep? And Rebecca’s like, you’re not gonna like my place. I got a bunch of weird, scary posters on the wall, and Martin says Martin’s like, please. I just need to sleep, right? It’s like—


Alison Leiby: Is there a—


Halle Kiefer: I don’t care—


Alison Leiby: Lady who hides in the shadows that clearly trying to get more involved in our lives living there because, like, if she’s not there, like, I’m good with posters. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Right exactly like, I’ll just get my eyes closed when I sleep, I won’t lie. 


Alison Leiby: That’s right. 


Halle Kiefer: But they she drives them back to Martin’s house and Bret tries to get out too. And Becca says, you’re not coming in my mother’s house. He’s like, well, why? Who cares. And she says, because she’s crazy. So, you know, we have it laid out. Rebecca walks Martin up to the front door and Martin stops and says, there’s I think there’s like a lady who keeps coming over. The mom has been talking to her and her name is Diana. And of course, Rebecca’s face changes because of course she’s heard that name before. And she sort of gets down on Martin’s level and says, you know, the same thing happened when my dad left, you know? So I knew the implication, like 10 or 12 years ago when my dad left, mom also started to talk to Diana. Right. And so their understanding is like a symptom of her mental illness. She’s under stress. She starts to have this behavior in, like, a relationship with someone who isn’t there. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s saying, I know that when I was your age, I had terrible dreams that Diana was in them for. That’s all she was. And then mom was doing okay, you know? So we just have to understand that this is what, unfortunately, this is something that mom is doing right. 


Alison Leiby: And they share. Mom.


Halle Kiefer: Mom, biological mother.


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So Rebecca’s dad bolted left.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And then Paul is here and clearly trying to do research and trying to help his wife. And unfortunately, killed by some sort of demon woman who, of course, her name is Diana. I don’t think you’re surprised to hear that. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah. And I’m sure get to know more about her. 


Halle Kiefer: We sure will. Just then their mom. Sophie abruptly opens a door and it’s like, oh, what’s going on here? And she says, Martin, why are you home, little mister? But he sort of just shrugs off and says, she’ll tell you and then goes back up. Goes upstairs. It is the middle of the day Alison, the house is pitch dark.


Alison Leiby: Not great. 


Halle Kiefer: Rebecca says, well, the school called me. They say Martin isn’t sleeping. And Sophia says well can you blame him? Paul was everything to us. She’s like, okay, well, mom, have you been talking to a therapist? Because like, this seems like a time that you should be. And Sophie’s was like, I don’t need to be telling a stranger my problems. I’d done that before. And of course, Rebecca was like, yeah, you’re gonna have to do it again. 


Alison Leiby: Do it again. 


Halle Kiefer: But again, this is a yeah, but Rebecca cut to the chase, having been through this where it’s like, so how long have you been off your medication? Because that’s what happened last time. And if this is happening, I have to assume that you haven’t been taking your pills upstairs. Martin has taken the initiative, and Martin is just packing a suitcase. He’s packing a bag to go to Rebecca’s. He’s not taking no for an answer. And when he goes to head back downstairs, he sees his mother’s office is kind of ajar. And there’s it’s there’s a window inlaid in it. And when he goes to peek in the office, a figure slams the door shut from inside. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And of course, when we see the hand, it is a figure with long pointy fingers. Downstairs, Sophie snaps at her daughter isn’t going to take any question about her mental health, obviously. She’s like, do you think that I wanted to parent alone? I didn’t want your father left and I don’t want to do it now. Do you know how hard it is to raise a child without a father? I mean, look how you turned out. 


Alison Leiby: Okay? Rude. 


Halle Kiefer: Also, it’s like Rebecca is like. I’m clearly doing the best I possibly can. 


Alison Leiby: I’m surviving here. 


Halle Kiefer: Also. I have an apartment. I might have whatever this guy is like. I have a job. I’m doing like that seems fine. What do you expect of me, you know, but she’s like, okay, look, I’m going to give you a couple days and actually, Martin’s going to come home and sleep with me, and, Martin is immediately there. She turns to like, I’m going to get Martin, and Martin’s already there with a suitcase being like, let’s go. Of course, of this makes, this makes Sophie panic and sort of like, start begging them, like, please don’t leave. Don’t take him. But of course, Rebecca’s like, listen, I’m asking you to let me take him to my house just to get some sleep, and we’ll come back in a few days. This is not forever, but it seems like maybe we need to sort of revisit it, which I’m like, how was you supposed to deal with this? Like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, like, get him there, get some sleep. And then obviously you’re going to have talk to your mom and figure out how to get her support. Like, there’s a million people that need help.


Alison Leiby: The kid needs like, stability, like, yeah, we need to have a plan moving forward. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And again, like we heard Paul at the beginning be like, oh, well, it does have to be an intervention. We’ll call it whatever. Like clearly like people need to be involved and be like, okay, how do we get you back your medication or get new medication or figure out like how to support you during this? Obviously your your husband was brutally murdered at his workplace obviously, and you have to now parent during that. Anyone would also be in a bad place. So it’s like this is the best possible situation. Once you get over to Rebecca’s place, Martin goes to unpack his little bag and Bret says, you should call and let the CPS lady know you’re doing this. That’s why she’s there. But if Rebecca’s like, I don’t want him take it away like he’s she’s going to stay with me. So I understand that concern as well. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah.


Halle Kiefer: It’s just a couple days. And he says I’m gonna be honest. Like watching that exchange. Are you doing this to help her or are you doing this to hurt her? And Rebecca, of course, says, how about you go kick rocks and get the hell out of here? If you going to talk to me like that? Kicks him out and makes Martin a sandwich, and he eats it while she brushes his hair and like, they have, like, a nice moment. And Martin says, if mom is crazy, does that mean we’re crazy too? And she says, no. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: No. So night falls, Alison, and the only light on the street is this glowing, blinking tattoo sign. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Which sends every time a blink sends red light into the apartment, which would kill me. 


Alison Leiby: It’s like that Seinfeld episode where they put a Kenny Rogers Roasters across Kramer’s apartment about, like, they keep the sign on all night, and it’s bright red. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. There’s a Kenny Rogers Roasters. And you think that Demon was bad? That lights on all night. 


Alison Leiby: All night. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. In the middle of the night, Rebecca wakes up to the sound of scratching. 


Alison Leiby: Nope. 


Halle Kiefer: And she sees a figure. You’re going to know which figure it is. It’s a lady with bad old scraggly hair. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s scrabbling at the hardwood floor ruining the hardwoods. And this is clearly a rental. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it’s like lady like, also like scratch on something that, like, can be replaced more easily. 


Halle Kiefer: Get her like a, like a scratching, scratching post. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, like a cat scratching post. Get her a cat tree. 


Halle Kiefer: And much like Paul called out for his coworker when he saw the woman, Rebecca says, Martin, girl, that’s obviously not your—


Alison Leiby: That is not your old brother not is not your brother. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s a demon gal and she’s ruining your hardwood. And your landlord’s going to talk to you about it. You know, Alison, when she’s looking, the red light of the tattoo shop blinks on and in the light, Rebecca sees nothing. So again, the same thing. The light comes on, the figure is gone. The light goes off. The figure is there, scrabbling, clawing at the hardwood. Rebecca is terrified, and she starts to stand up again. Because what do you do? Like this. Also, this person is now between you and the door and also you. Your underage brother is there. The light goes on the figure’s gone. The light goes off. The figure stands and lunges at Rebecca. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: She bolts and turns on the overhead light. Nothing’s there. Meanwhile, I’m like, where the fuck is Martin in all this? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: She has the same thought. She runs, can’t find him, runs into the bathroom, he’s asleep in the bathtub. And he’s smart because unfortunately, he has been living in his mother’s house. He has a flashlight on while he’s sleeping. Very smart. Like he’s a smart guy. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, light seems to be part of this, so. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. So might as well. In the morning. They’re both up. Rebecca hears a knock on the door. It is Emma, the CPS lady, who said, did you take Martin? Because you’re not allowed to do that. Rebecca is angry at her immediately, but Emma’s like, look, your mother called me. Rebecca says, oh, so CPS takes orders from nutjobs. 


Alison Leiby: It’s like it’s not helping. 


Halle Kiefer: No, it’s like I stopped to check on her. She is lucid. You know, she is Martin’s legal guardian. So if you want to get custody, you have to do two things. One, you would have to, like, bring charges against her, essentially. Like that. You think that she is unable to parent, which means you’re facing a long legal battle. But if you’re if that’s what you think it is, then you just know that. And also, you then have to prove that you’re a responsible guardian. And she says, are you ready to go to war against your mother and prove yourself as a guardian? And Rebecca says, I’m a reasonable guardian. And Emma looks at her weird, scary posters and one bong on the other coffee table. I was like, they couldn’t make it. Made it more fucked up a little bit. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s just like anyone. 


Halle Kiefer: Where this just seems like someone who doesn’t have a ton of taste and also smokes weed, which is most people. 


Alison Leiby: That’s most people. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s not terrifying. She’s not like, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Like, does it seem like endangerment? There’s nothing at all. Like, if that was all I knew about somebody, I wouldn’t be like, well, don’t let them be around kids. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, I feel like they’re a poser or something, but they’re surely not a bad person. 


Alison Leiby: Might be a tough hang, but it doesn’t seem necessarily irresponsible. 


Halle Kiefer: But Emma says, regardless, this is where it stands, and I’m going to take Martin to school, and then he will be returning to his mother’s house. So, Rebecca kind of has to eat shit at this point. And Martin heads off to school. And once she starts to pick up around him, he’s like, left all the toys and stuff around. She sees that there is a envelope. Scat. Sorry. I’m like vomit. And as Rebecca starts to pick up, Martin’s clothes, she sees there’s an emblem scratched into the hardwood floor. Oh, the kind of peeking out from the corner of the rug. She lifts the rug and she sees it’s not a figure. Well, there is a little tiny stick figure. And then next to it, it says the name Diana. 


Alison Leiby: Uh oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, what would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, when I’m done freaking out over my security deposit. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I would move the rug to cover it more. Because I don’t want to see it, but I. I’d go grab my brother and head out of town for a while. I don’t like that. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I’d tell my mom what’s up and be like, we can’t. Look, this lady’s coming around again. She’s scratching stuff in the floors like she wants to be known. We don’t want to know her. Like, what if we just started over? 


Halle Kiefer: I think that’s yeah. Go with an open heart. Try to figure out where you could come down on us versus Diana. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: [AD BREAK]


Halle Kiefer: With that. Alison, we are now back in Rebecca’s childhood. She’s flashing back to her own experience as a child. And when she’s around Martin’s age, when her father left and her mother started talking to Diana for the first time, and we see little ten year old Rebecca, she’s drawing in her room. She’s like, mom, dad, me. And she turns around to find her notepad is suddenly gone from in front of her and a scratching sound coming from inside her closet. But she reaches up and flips on the closet light, and we see her notepad fall from a height of about five feet, like someone was holding it, and suddenly dropped it. 


Alison Leiby: Like an adult was holding it. 


Halle Kiefer: Like an adult. Like a tall, weird lady who holding it. And she looks at the drawing, which is a pretty standard normal stick figure drawing a kid would do.


Alison Leiby: Kids. This is the family. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Her dad is scratched out and a new figure stands between her and her mother. Maybe it’s Diana, it’s Diana. The people’s princess as as I call her. 


Alison Leiby: It’s hard not to sing that like Toto song like Diana. Like. But it’s Roseanne.


Halle Kiefer: Oh hell yeah. [laughs] Bret comes to pick up Rebecca, and it’s like, hey, I just want to talk to you, like how you’re doing. She’s like, oh, yeah, that. I’m good. I just need a ride, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: He says, can we talk about last night? Because, I feel like you kicked me out. Even though I was just trying to be honest with you about what’s going on. And I want to be supportive. And she, like, just clearly needs, like him to physically transport her. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: She’s like, yeah, okay, come to my mom’s house. I need to find out about Diana because clearly this bitch is real. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, she’s hanging around. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So they get to the house and it looks like her mom is at home. And so Rebecca finds the spare key and says, if you see my mom, just, you know, hit the bricks and head out the back door. Bret takes it downstairs. Rebecca goes upstairs. It’s this beautiful, fat, like, craftsman style homes like you’d see in California. Like, gorgeous. A lot of house for just two people, I’ll be honest. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But stunning porch like, beautiful, like, inlaid like, glass. Not necessarily like, stained glass, but like beautiful glass within the interior doors. Stunning. And right away, Rebecca’s noticing some weird shit. In the office. The lamp cord looks like it’s been chewed through. And she sees a photo of her mother as a girl standing next to a very strange little girl holding an umbrella, even though they are both standing outside in broad daylight. And when she flips it over, it says on the back, Sophie and Diana. Mulberry Hill, California. Even more helpful. Paul’s papers were obviously returned from his workplace after he met his untimely demise. So she finds Paul’s box of records, which means she finds the medical records from her mother’s time at Mulberry Hill, which is clearly some sort of psychiatric facility as a child. Right. And we hear a male doctor’s voice say, patient 283 admitted October 6th, 1984. And I’m thinking, oh, this will be the mother’s therapy sessions. It is not. It is Diana’s therapy sessions. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: I was like, damn, Paul really did his research. [both speaking] Like how did you even get his hands on that? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s. That’d be hard to get for Diana. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Right. And from the 80s, she pops in a tape, of course. And we hear a doctor say, the doctor’s a man of course. 


Alison Leiby: Obviously. 


[clip of doctor]: The patient suffers from a unique skin disorder that manifests itself in an extreme sensitivity to light. 


Halle Kiefer: She has a history of violence, and she has become obsessed with the girl in the ward here he or she is now. Keep her chains on. I was like keep her chains on—


Alison Leiby: It’s not a zoo. 


Halle Kiefer: And we hear Diana clank into the room and say, keep the lights out. And Diana says, the doctor says, Diana, I’ve heard you been very bad again, which is what I think getting mental health treatment was before. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Not even today. Like tomorrow maybe. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And the doctor says, I heard you lashed out. You hurt your friend Sophie. Why would you do that if she’s your friend? And Diana says because she was getting better. That’s not a very friendly thing to do. 


Alison Leiby: No. That’s mean. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, we hear another tape. It is the doctors submitting Diana to an experimental light therapy that, of course, kills her. [laughter] I was like, damn, this place. 


Alison Leiby: What? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. You literally hear her screaming and howling and him saying, shut off the machine. Like it’s the 20s. Like she’s Frankenstein’s monster or something. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah 1984. We were alive.


Alison Leiby: Barely, I mean, barely, but. 


Halle Kiefer: And apparently it was so bad. They’ve a photo it looks like she is turned to ash. It looks like her human form has been dissolved. I was like, yeah, I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure that light therapy was not going to work. 


Alison Leiby: Like, what did they think was going to happen? 


Halle Kiefer: Look, it’s the 80s. You could afford a starter home. Springsteen was on the radio, and doctors might turn your deranged daughter to ash by accident. It was a different time. Different decade. Also in Sophie’s room, Rebecca finds the drawing that Diana altered from when she was a child and her mother clearly kept. Unfortunately—


Alison Leiby: Boy, I would have kept that. 


Halle Kiefer: As she’s standing in her mother’s room. You know, I think her mom mom’s probably not. I. I think her mom’s just do whatever she can to get through at this point. 


Alison Leiby: That’s true. 


Halle Kiefer: Because of Dirty Diana, unfortunately, the bedroom door slams and Rebecca runs through and of course, tries to open it. And for the other side we hear Diana say, stay away. I won’t be sent away again. We then see Rebecca hauled in the air, much like Paul was marionette style and dropped from the ceiling just as Bret bursts into the door, burst through the door because she was screaming and they grabbed the book of the box of evidence and they book it out of there. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


They get out seconds before Sophie and Martin come home from school. And he asks, because this is understanding as a child, like, have you been taking your vitamins, mom? Of course she has an answer. We know she’s not taking her medication. 


Alison Leiby: Of course not.


Halle Kiefer: And she’s saying, you know, I’m feeling a little better. Why don’t we just have a movie night tonight? Just the three of us. And Martin says, could it maybe just be the two of us? And Sophie smiles and says, we’ll see. Well, Alison, you better believe. Of course it’s not. They’re watching Auntie Mame, which I’m assuming either has a connection to the theme or was free to use because I was like, yeah, what ten year old is going to sit for Auntie Mame, I don’t know. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that feels like a fair use. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Decision. Well, they’re they’re hanging out. They’re having a good time. And Sophie opens up to her son and says, you know, I really miss your dad, he made me feel really strong and I needed that. And Martin’s like, well, you know, Rebecca’s really strong. Like you, if you need to feel strong. You should call Rebecca. Which again is like, he’s he’s like, you got to talk to Rebecca about this mom. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: The only other parent or adult I know. Sophie scoffs. Rebecca seems strong, but when things got tough, she abandoned me. Girl, there’s a demon in your house. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. That’s like it’s just extenuating circumstances. You don’t really get to, like, cast stones here. 


Halle Kiefer: And Martin says, you know, Emma told me sometimes the strongest thing you could do is face your fears, mom. And Sophie says, you know what? You’re absolutely right. Unfortunately, she’s going to take it away that she wants to take it, which is she gets up and shuts up all all the lights. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And and Martin starts panicking because he knows what’s about to happen. 


Alison Leiby: Right? I’d be like, well, not with me here. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And she sits with him and holds his hand and says, I want to tell you about my friend Diana. 


[clip of Maria Bello]: See, I left her alone for so many years. I abandoned her. But now she’s going to stay okay, as long as I keep my head clear and you keep the lights out. 


Halle Kiefer: And of course, as we’re talking, we see Diana creeping up behind Martin. 


Alison Leiby: She’s just creeping around. 


Halle Kiefer: And Martin’s not a fucking idiot, so he’s panicking and freaking out. He knows this is not good, and he looks up to see Diana crouching on the back of a couch, and she touches his hair. He of course, screams. He runs and turns the lights on. And Diana says, don’t do that. She doesn’t know any better. She doesn’t mean to. And Diana backhands Sophie so hard she flies over the Ottoman popcorn everywhere. 


Alison Leiby: It’s also crazy that she’s, like, strong. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. And I think that what we’re mapping out an abusive relationship where Diana. Or like where Sophie Sophie’s trying to, like, always be like. She doesn’t know what she’s doing. It’s not her fault. She doesn’t mean to. It’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, regardless, she just hit you and knocked you over the Ottoman. So whether or not she means to is irrelevant. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I think we’re to think that she’s. This has been an ongoing, potentially lifelong thing that keeps coming back to her. So, Martin, to his credit, is not having it over at Rebecca’s, Bret and Rebecca go through the box of evidence, he says, okay, so let me catch you up here. Your mom is in a mental facility. So who’s this? Diana. There’s a knock on the door, and poor little Martin ran all the way there. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, poor Martin. 


Alison Leiby: I know, and he says it’s getting worse. Rebecca sends Bret to the store for groceries, which, again, Bret is very nice and a really, really a stand up guy that he is holding down for her. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And she, Martin and Rebecca sort of compare notes about what the fuck Diana even is like, what have they seen? Like what is our understanding of this? Because she’s saying, like, just so you know, I believe you. You’re not going to have to like, I’m not going to question you or like Emma, she doesn’t believe it or whatever. I something is going on. Right. So she shows him all the documents because Paul was researching, Sophie and Diana. And based on what she’s found, Diana was found locked in a basement when she was 13, after her mother, sorry, after her father had died by suicide. And we see a photo of his suicide. And next to his body he wrote in blood on the wall. She is in my head. And Rebecca continues, Diana had very strange skin disorder. People say she was evil and could get inside people’s heads, probably based on the suicide note, and she would change people. But eventually she was taken to Mulberry Hills Psychiatric Hospital and met mom, and I think she got into mom’s head and is trying to stay there ever since. But she only comes around or only is at full power when mom is at her worst, which is why they link it to going off her medication and like going through this big stress, you know? 


Alison Leiby: And that’s just like, is the idea that that is coming from her husband being killed by Diana or is it predated, like. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, it must predate it because he was doing the research. So if things had been fine. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Then you’d think he wouldn’t have been researching it. So actually, I don’t know. 


Alison Leiby: She’s just kind of like been off her meds for a while. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: He’s a casualty of kind of this piece of that. Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. That she’s able to sort of it’s sort of like a seems like a cyclical thing where like the worse the mom is, the stronger, like, Diana can sort of like drain her and like, feed off of her. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Which I was thinking like, oh, it is vampirism, but in like a alternate way, like it’s not a literal vampire drinking blood, but like, she is clearly using her in this, parasitic way, I suppose. And of course, the, doctors killed her using experimental light therapy to cure to cure her skin condition. And she died horribly and Martin says, well, if she’s dead, how could she be doing this to us? And they’re both like, that’s a good question. We got to figure that out. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But she says, I don’t know. But I think Mom is Diana’s only connection to the world. Like the only way she could do this is because she’s glommed on to her. But if we break that connection, then we could potentially help mom. And Martin says, I don’t think that the Diana’s going to let that happen. Rebecca says, well, yeah, but how do you know? And Martin says, because that’s what my dad was trying to do. Like, we already see what happened, that she’s so powerful.


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: If we do this, isn’t she going to kill us too? 


Alison Leiby: A great question. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. From the hallway. A knock at the door. Rebecca answers it, but then realizes there’s no one there. The knock isn’t from the front door. It’s from inside her bedroom closet door. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, you hate to hear that. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. She goes to the closet and luckily the light is on the outside because it’s dark inside and she’s able to flip on the light before opening it. Of course, there’s no Diana. She hears Martin’s scream, and Martin is getting dragged into the darkness under the bed. And Rebecca is barely able to grab him and rip him out before he is dragged under there. But she gets him. And then Sophie hears a knock at her door at her house, and she opens it to find both of her kids and some guy named Bret. That her sister or that her daughter’s sleeping with. And Rebecca says, mom, we need to talk. So we are here for the intervention, and we’re here to talk about this and let’s talk. Let’s get down to brass tacks about, Diana. Right. So they sit down for a pizza dinner. Martin is having pizza and a glass of milk. A favorite dinner of mine as a child. 


Alison Leiby: I only like one of those things. 


Halle Kiefer: And Rebecca finally says, mom, can we talk about Diana? And Sophie’s like, yep, Diana is a good friend of mine. She’s just been back in town. You know, things with Paul and Rebecca—


Alison Leiby: First of all, talking about it like that is pretty scary. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. It’s not good because it where she’s at mentally is not great. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And Rebecca says Diana is dead. Mom, we found her obituary. And Sophie says, you know, that people could fake those. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, excuse me. 


Halle Kiefer: Like who?


Alison Leiby: Excuse me. 


Halle Kiefer: And in a very classic boomer move, I think, Rebecca tries to press her on it. And so, Sophie changes the topic entirely to be about how, Rebecca abandoned her when she was, like. I also like the implications when she abandoned her was like when she was, like, 18 or 19. Like this—


Alison Leiby: Lifetime of living with a mother who’s dealing with some pretty intense, literal demons. I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. You got to strike out on your own and start new life. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And she’s like, look, I know why you’re here. You feel bad about leaving me. But I realized that that was really important. I had to go through that because that’s what I was doing to Diana. And now Diana and I are back together re forging our relationship. And, you know, I just think maybe you feel bad that that we don’t have that kind of relationship. And Rebecca says, mom, there’s a dead woman in this house. And Sophie says, sweetie, ghosts aren’t real. But I’m gonna head back up to bed. So Sophie heads up to bed to presumably whisper. Whisper to Diana. Diana for hours, you know. And so leaving Rebecca, Martin and Bret at the table, and she says we should just get out of here. But Martin implores her like, can we can we please stay like we really need to be here with with her? Rebecca says well it’s not safe here? And Martin points out it’s not safe anywhere. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: She’s come to your apartment. 


Alison Leiby: She’s ruined your floors. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s just better if we’re all together. At least we could try to figure something out. I’m like Martin, very smart, very smart little boy. Rebecca agrees that she and Bret will stay, but they do take some precautions when they’re going through. And, like, taping the light switches on with duct tape, which is also from the short lights out short. All the lights are blazing. And, Rebecca is going to sleep in Martin’s bed with him while Bret sleeps on the downstairs sofa. And, you know, she says to him, I you don’t have to say honestly, I know this seems really. You must think we’re all crazy. He says, no, I don’t think that. I think you’re doing a really kind thing. I think you’re doing your best. And I’m not leaving. I’m like Bret’s stand up guy. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: They kiss and she says, okay, you’re going to get the bottom dresser drawer? I’m going to clean it out. You’re going to have so much space for your stuff when we get back. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. It’s really happening. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s happening. So they all settled down to sleep. They were all stay the night in the house with Diana. The malevolent ghost creature.


Alison Leiby: Just hanging around. 


Halle Kiefer: Around them? I wrote here Bret is toast. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Rebecca goes upstairs to Martin’s room, but before she does, she goes to bed. She knocks on her mother’s room and says, hey, I just want, you know, we’re staying the night, I love you. I’m sorry this is happening, but we’re all here. And Sophie opens the door crack and says, I’m sorry, too. Like, can we start over tomorrow morning? And I’m sorry about everything I said. And Rebecca says, yes, let’s do that. That sounds good. And then Rebecca, before she goes, says, can I ask, did you ever hear from dad after you left? Did you ever said letters or anything? And Sophie says, I’m sorry. No, he never got in touch. I know you blame me for him leaving. And he and Rebecca says, I honestly don’t like he chose to leave. Like, I don’t blame you for that. 


Alison Leiby: Okay? You know, that’s gross. That’s. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Perspective. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see Sophie step out and she hugs Rebecca. And then we literally see Sophie get pulled back into the room by her sweater. Like again. Like it’s an abusive partner. Like it’s like, yes, you’re having this moment. It’s like, I have to go deal with somebody who’s screaming silently at me or something for hours on end. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, and I’m just going to shut the door in my daughter’s face. Right. So, Rebecca, go to the bathroom to check to see if her mom’s meds are there, and she sees two bottles that are full of pills, and then there’s a empty prescription bottle in the trash. So she’s thinking, okay, so maybe she’s taking some meds, but this one, clearly she is not taking it, you know? But like, okay, maybe I can get a refill for her or like, talk to her about it again. Trying to make plans. You know, she gets into bed with Martin, and she says we’re going to make sure the mom gets better. Just get some sleep, Alison. All of the lights suddenly go out in the house. Who? Will survive this film. 


[voice over]: Who will survive? 


Alison Leiby: Well. Bret’s done. That’s, going to be a feature wrap on Bret any moment now. 


Halle Kiefer: He was too kind. Simply too kind. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: He finally got what he wanted, so he can’t continue to live. I think that the kids will both live. And. Sophie the mum. That’s her name? Yes. We’ll die. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. 


Alison Leiby: I’m pivoting from my initial guess. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. Great. Guess. 




Halle Kiefer: Rebecca wisely has already lit some candles because apparently she can’t shut off candles, Diana does not get a handle on a candle. 


Alison Leiby: Oh yeah, it’s like, can she breathe? 


Halle Kiefer: A great question. I mean, she can punch she could punch me. Could she—


Alison Leiby: Drag? She could scratch. 


Halle Kiefer: Could she punch, the flame out with her? Like, if she punch through the air it would set it out. 


Alison Leiby: Right? Like, could she catch on fire? I just have a lot of questions about her physicality. 


Halle Kiefer: Luckily, Rebecca also has a wind up flashlight. She runs downstairs. She. Bret is not on the couch. He’s outside seeing if it’s just their house lights out or the entire block. Alison, the whole block is out. There’s a power outage. 


Alison Leiby: Not good. 


Halle Kiefer: An inopportune time for a power outage. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: In the meantime, Rebecca goes out into the basement you hate to see it. To try and find the fuze box. Martin wakes up in a panic because his sister’s gone, and he grabs the candle. And as soon as he steps in the hallway, Diana is on top of him. She is terrifying him. She grabs him by his foot and drags him down the hallway, screaming. Fortunately, he’s able to get loose. Still with the candle in hand, and runs down into the basement and finds Rebecca says, never leave me again, but she’s too busy trying to like, get the fuzes figured out. But also, it’s not going to work. The whole block is out right. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. If there’s a power outage, like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: There’s nothing you can do. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, he she’s like, I can feel something else is wrong. It’s like, what would be wrong? She’s like, oh, it’s a trap. And she they look up and Diana is slamming the door shut. So now they are trapped in the basement. Bret goes back inside. He immediately starts getting his ass absolutely handed to him by Diana. He is able to stave her off using the light of his iPhone, but she slaps it out of his hand and it flies into a corner. 


Alison Leiby: Oh no. 


Halle Kiefer: He ends up running outside. But Alison, it’s completely pitch dark because the street lights are even out. 


Alison Leiby: So there’s nothing illuminating anything. Get in a car, turn some car headlights on. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, you are one step ahead of him. He is running through the darkness up the driveway and she grabs Diana, grabs him and lifts him off the ground, and he’s able to hit the, keyfob. And the headlights blink, headlights blink. And she—


Alison Leiby: Amazing. 


Halle Kiefer: She drops him from like a height and he hits the ground. But he is safe and alive. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. Bret runs to the car, jumps inside and peels away. And Rebecca Martin could hear him. And Martin says, is he leaving us? And Rebecca goes. No. But he has driven away, leaving only one person left in the house to come to the rescue. Their mother. Sophie. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Finally. Sophie. This is like the breaking point of of Sophie realizing that Diana is now hurting her children. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And she starts screaming at Diana. And Diana is like can seemingly speak occasionally in human languages, but then is mostly like screaming and whispering and making ghost sounds. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, she seems more ghost sounds and like, creaks and screeches and scratches and. 


Halle Kiefer: And she says, you need me, Diana. There is no you without me. You can’t treat me this way. And she turns and she has her new prescription bottle in her purse, and she starts to take her medication. She says, I, I never should have stopped. But before she could take a pill in her mouth, Diana throws Sophie across the room, slamming her to the dresser and sending her pills scattering everywhere. Meanwhile, in the basement, Rebecca and Martin are feeding, paper into the furnace. So they’re like, they have the door open, they can see the flame, so they’re throwing paper in, and they have found a black light, like a, handheld black light, like you’d have in a dorm room. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That they can use for illumination. And Martin says, well, how long will we be down here? There’s no windows. So even if there was daylight, there’s no windows—


Alison Leiby: It wouldn’t help him. Yeah, yeah. God. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, Rebecca says I’m going to just look at the rest of the basement to find supplies if we have any, like, other light sources and finds written in black light all over the walls Diana’s rantings. And let me read you some. Just like—


Alison Leiby: A manifesto. 


Halle Kiefer: Just like in the hospital. Trapped down here in the dark, trying to take Sophie away from me. And sometimes, Diana, I’m going to say this. Sometimes you have to recognize that it might be you that has bad vibes Diana. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: You know what I mean. 


Alison Leiby: Why don’t you hold up a mirror to whatever’s going on with you?


Halle Kiefer: Yourself. So we turn and we see mannequins because again, Paul was in the textiles business. We see. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: A mannequin with a really melted, fucked up face, you know, like you have in your your basement. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah yeah yeah. Save it for the holidays. 


Halle Kiefer: And it says Diana written across the chest. And she sort of goes down this row of mannequins. All of them are deformed or mutilated until she sees one that is facing the wall. It turns and it screams, and it when it turns, it is, of course, Diana. And she has ghostly white eyes and a howling woman’s face. She lunges at Rebecca and Martin appears, hitting that bitch with the real flashlight, sending her running. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So, but because Dan is a very clever ghost, she is able to put something down the flu and sniff out the furnace fire. So now there’s no fire down there. And Rebecca says she didn’t react to the black light, so we actually use that to see her, but we can’t hurt her with it. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So now the flashlight actually hurts her, and she’s driven away the black light. You can see her, but it has doesn’t have the effect of the natural light. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. So they really what they do is they start screaming for their mother, like to let us out. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Screaming they don’t have phones or anything. Alison. Bret comes back and he had just fled to go get the cops. So he has cops in tow. Unfortunately, these cops refuse to listen to anything he says. 


Alison Leiby: Cool. 


Halle Kiefer: Specifically, you need to use your flashlights in the house. You have to use your flashlight. There’s a woman in there. You have to have your flashlight on her. And the cops are like, oh my God, this guy. And they go into the house, the door standing open, and they hear Rebecca and Martin screaming in the basement. So the two officers work at breaking the lock off the basement door. Upstairs. Sophie comes to for where Diana slammed her dresser and runs to the door. Of course, Diana has trapped her in her bedroom and she’s screaming, Diana, no. If you hurt my kids, I we are never speaking again. Which is like I think things have escalated past not speaking anymore.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Not talking anymore. Feels like not a enough of a threat here. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. The cops get the basement door open. They’re able to get Rebecca and Martin. They of course, immediately start warning them about Diana, too. But the cops aren’t really like what they’re saying is not coherent to them. One of the cops sees Diane in the kitchen and confronts her, only to have her, you guessed it, lunge out of the darkness drag him away. He pulls his gun, and there’s a like an interesting visual effect where he fires his gun like, unloads the clip, and in every blast of light she disappears. 


Alison Leiby: Interesting. Yeah. That’s cool. 


Halle Kiefer: But also the guns have no effect. 


Alison Leiby: It’s awful. But yes, but it’s an interesting effect that I’m sure makes the movie even scarier. 


Halle Kiefer: But unfortunately, Diana is not stopped. It doesn’t stop her. She kills the cop and then tears out the other cop’s eyes, which I thought was really interesting, but I could have used some it hearing earlier in the movie, I think, because it could have tied it into light things. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it tracks was her whole story. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: But, you know, a little late. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Bret runs in and Rebecca grabs Martin and throws him to Bret and says, get him out of the house. I’m going to go get my mother. Of course, Martin screaming don’t go up there. Rebecca heads up the stairs with her black light and her flashlight in hand, and starts screaming for her mother. Yeah. When she gets to the second floor landing, Diana whispers to her—


[clip of Alicia Vela-Bailey]: Stay away. 


Halle Kiefer: Obviously, Diana didn’t just kill Paul. She also killed Sophie’s first husband, who would be Rebecca’s father. 


Alison Leiby: He didn’t leave. 


Halle Kiefer: He didn’t leave. He’s dead. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, he left this, you know, plane.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And it’s good that when they die, they don’t hang out with Diana, because that would be my other concern. It’s like, oh, you kill someone, we gotta hang out. 


Alison Leiby: Right? Like suddenly it’s like a crew, like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: You’re like, oh, if I’m dead, like, at least let me do my own thing. 


Halle Kiefer: Diana attacks Rebecca, but Rebecca shines the flashlight on her, and this time it’s so close and so intense, it actually burns Diana’s flesh, so she drops her. Unfortunately, Diana is still a extremely motivated, supernatural evil. So Diana is able to kick Rebecca’s ass like she’s dragging her all over this landing until Sophie screams from behind both of them and they turn to see Sophie wielding her own gun. She’s holding a gun on Diana and she says, I told you, don’t hurt my kids. And Rebecca is—


Alison Leiby: Feels like a very Maria Bello thing to scream. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, absolutely. And, Rebecca’s sobbing. Mom, she killed dad. So again confirmed. And in that moment of realization, Sophie fires at Diana. Of course says that won’t hurt me. And Sophie puts the gun to her own head. And says this will because there is no you without me. And Rebecca screams, mom, what are you doing? And Sophie shoots herself in the head, killing herself, causing Diana to burn up in ashes. 


Alison Leiby: That is not where I thought it was going to go. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, and we’ll discuss it in a minute. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: Rebecca leaves. Walks out and finds Bret sitting with Martin, who just saw his mother and just heard his mother, shoot herself. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Rebecca joins them, and she says to Bret, you came back. And Martin says to his sister. And so did you. And they sit together. Finally a family. And the overhead lights flicker as the ambulance arrives and Bret reassures them, it’s going to be fine. And that is the end of Lights Out. 


Alison Leiby: Whoa. 


Halle Kiefer: So, as you can imagine, people had mixed feelings about that ending. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I feel like I understand what they were going for. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But my criticisms would be one that is like what a suicidal person’s logic is. So it’s hard to see that depicted where it’s like every person who has, like, there’s no person who would do that, who doesn’t think this is the only option. And this actually will be better for everybody else, unfortunately. And that’s hard when we’re talking about like, a trauma that was visited on her as a child and that we’re mapping on a mental illness. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Because like and apparently there was an alternate ending where, like, the implication is that Diana comes back and like, Diana is the trauma from her death, which I think is doable because it’s sort of like the ending of the Ring spoiler with the Ring like realizing that you have to pass it on to someone else so that, you know, no. Naomi Watts’ son won’t die. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So I think you can make those kind of grim decisions at the end. But that was not the tone of this movie. And then also, even if you do that, like, you still do see someone mentally, a mentally ill woman shoot herself in the head. And that’s a tough. 


Alison Leiby: No matter what you’ve done to build up to that ending. Yeah, from a logic standpoint, from a theatrical standpoint, like it’s still is just like, that’s tough. Like even within a genre that presents so much tough stuff. Like that’s just a that’s a tough image.


Halle Kiefer: Right. Because like the implication is like that she did freedom like that this was the right move or that this right was inevitable. And again, if you want to say that, that’s fine. But then I’m going to need you this. Then this has to be it’s almost like this was too warm and cuddly of a horror movie to have that kind of ending. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: But I think it could definitely have that ending, and you just sort of had to figure out how to, land the plane. Because I did, like this movie. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And then in the end I’m like well, that wasn’t a fun watch by any stretch of the imagination. Well anyways, what are some fatal mistakes you think were made in the movie Lights Out. 


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, it seems like pretty much everything they did at the psychiatric facility where. I’m gonna now blanking on the name. And I just want to say Vivienne, which is incorrect. 


Halle Kiefer: Diana. 


Alison Leiby: Diana. Like all that treatment seem to probably push towards this ghost vibe. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Yeah, it definitely didn’t help. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, it didn’t help. And then, you know. I guess. Like. If you’re on medication that keeps, you know, things in your life stable and static and healthy, like don’t go off that medication.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And and you know, again, it’s it’s always hard. You know, it would have been interesting to like find out why she went off the medication. Because like, if it is something that predates Diana, which I think we’re supposed to think like then then this is, it’s almost like. Yeah, like then you really if this is about mental illness, you’ve really got to get in the weeds about it. Like if you’re holding on to like, then that’s something we want to have answered. Like, yeah, I don’t know, I, I can I still like this movie, but it’s, it is a really grisly thing to map horror onto with that kind of ending.


Alison Leiby: I agree. 


Halle Kiefer: Other than that, though, I mean, like, Rebecca did her best. Yes, she was afraid of commitment, but, like, listen to understandable. 


Alison Leiby: She’s trying. 


Halle Kiefer: And Martin was doing his little best. Paul was doing his best. That first husband probably was doing his best. I do wish we had found out. I wish she, like, found him in the basement or something. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, a little more on that. Just to kind of give it some legs. Might have felt. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. But again, not to criticize this movie, but simply to say, to see the see the, the fine qualities and the and the other qualities. And then, finally, where would you place Lights Out on the spooky scale? Alison? 


[voice over]: A spooky scare. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I think I’m going to give this a seven. I think, like, the cold open is super scary. I think the, like, the just the general, like, darkness scratching and then of course, like when it’s mapped onto kind of the, the idea of an abusive relationship. Like there there’s like emotional tough stuff going on here obviously. And then the reveal that like, Rebecca’s father was killed by Diana is like, I feel like that was like a. Yeah, I think it’s, I think a seven for me that’s feels like a seven. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. What about you? 


Halle Kiefer: You know, I didn’t. Oh, man. I’m going to give it a five. No, I’m gonna give a six. Because I do think the scary part is the beginning is really scary. The visuals are very well done and scary, plot wise, like, you know, I think it was interesting, and I, I I’m glad I saw it, but maybe, I don’t know, it’s like it was caught between something a little more stylized, like the ring. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Versus something that was much more realistic. 


Alison Leiby: Grounded. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, yeah. Which I could have used a little push in either direction, I think. 


Alison Leiby: I get that. 


Halle Kiefer: But I did think it was scary. And I don’t think that, I don’t think the director has done more horror since then because then he was directing. What else did he do? He was. Oh, he did like. Oh, Annabelle: Creation, which we’ve not done that. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And Shazam! and Shazam! Fury of the Gods. So I think maybe he’s moving in sort of a, a superhero, but I hope he comes back. And if he. If I can get it because he’s done other films, I’ll see if I can get my hands on them. And, would absolutely love to, bring them to you. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But. Yeah. Thank you so much for listening, you guys. And, until next time. 


Alison Leiby: Kevin Bacon month carries on. 


Halle Kiefer: And a very Kevin Bacon month to you. 


Alison Leiby: And a good Kevin Bacon month to you. And. Yeah, I guess last thing is, please, keep it spooky.


Halle Kiefer: Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcasts and Crooked Media on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for show updates. And if you’re just as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production, we’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. This show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy, and Ewa Okulate.